As introduced in the section of the previous chapter entitled "What's a Desktop? Graphical Environments for Linux," KDE (the K Desktop Environment,
www.kde.org) is an open source operating environment designed to provide typical computer users with a standard, easy-to-use graphical desktop interface. As with GNOME, the primary goal of KDE is to provide users with a powerful, flexible, and user-friendly graphical environment that supports standard desktop capabilities such as dragging and dropping; provides a consistent look and feel for a wide range of applications; provides a development framework that simplifies developing new graphical applications; and is configurable so that you can customize the desktop environment to work the way that you want it to.
Conceptually, KDE is very similar to GNOME because both are desktop environments, but KDE focuses on providing a rich feature set with extensive customizability, while GNOME focuses on simplicity. The goal of both is usability, but their approaches to usability are very different. In the desktop world, selecting between GNOME and KDE is a Jaguar/Mercedes/BMW decision—which high-quality alternative best suits your needs?
This chapter describes KDE 3.5.x, which is the version of KDE that is used on ...